Fractured Ribs Are Serious Injuries for MotorcyclistsAs spring weather starts blossoming here in North Dakota, it feels like a great time to get outside and start enjoying the scenery. Taking your motorcycle out for some spring rides is a good way to take advantage of our state’s beauty and socialize in a socially distant manner with your fellow riders. This is also a good time to remember that bikers are especially vulnerable to serious injury in motorcycle crashes with careless drivers.

After a motorcycle crash, one injury motorcyclists should not ignore is trauma to the ribs. During a collision with a vehicle, motorcyclists can often be thrown from their bike, landing on the ground or thrown into other objects. This impact can cause a variety of injuries, but one that should be watched carefully is broken or fractured ribs. Fractured ribs are an injury that can go from minor to life-threatening very quickly.

Symptoms of fractured ribs

Symptoms of broken or fractured ribs include:

  • Bruising or swelling in the chest area
  • “Crunching” feeling or sound in chest
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pain or difficulty taking a breath
  • Pain that worsens with movement or coughing
  • Shortness of breath

Complications from broken ribs

If you are in a motorcycle accident and experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention. Even if you have the instinct to just let a fractured rib heal on its own, you could be taking a huge medical risk. Untreated fractured ribs can lead to further and much more serious heath complications, including:

  • Lacerated organs. When a rib breaks or splinters, it can slice nearby organs like the spleen, kidneys, or liver. When an internal injury goes undiagnosed, a patient can suffer life-threatening consequences.
  • Punctured lung(s). A fractured rib can also puncture a lung, which can lead to collapse, respiratory distress, and the immediate need for medical treatment.
  • Torn or punctured aorta. Another life-threatening injury, this can happen if one of the top three ribs break (the ribs that protect the aortic artery and heart).

After any type of blunt trauma to the chest, motorcycle wrecks included, ensure you see a physician as soon as possible. They can check for fractured ribs and internal injuries by performing a physical exam, as well as diagnostic tests like X-rays or MRIs.

Treatment for fractured ribs

Therapies for broken and fractured ribs depend on the severity of the injury. However, common treatments include rest, icing the injured area, and painkillers. Severe breaks may require hospitalization or even assisted ventilation. In the past, standard protocol for broken ribs was to bind the area to minimize pain and movement. However, this is no longer used, as binding and taping inhibits a patient from taking deep breaths, which can lead to pneumonia – another dangerous health complication.

Many motorcycle accidents can end in catastrophic injury. Even when crashes are less serious, a biker can still experience life-threatening injury. What might feel like a bad bruise in the moment could turn into something much more serious, like a punctured lung. This is why it is so important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. This both protects your health and helps build a strong personal injury case.

At Larson Law Firm, P.C., we protect the rights of motorcyclists injured by negligent drivers throughout North Dakota. If you or a loved one were hurt in a crash that wasn’t your fault, we can help you seek financial compensation for your medical bills and losses. To arrange a free consultation, call us in Minot or Bismarck today at 701.484.HURT or complete our contact form.